The comedy cellar

Is there anything left worth joking about?

Here are a couple of books that seek to tackle the difficult issue of comedy on the front line. One deals with an increasingly toxic global cultural war; the other plunges into the battle to take on jihadists by laughing at them. In their different ways both ask the same questions: what’s funny and what’s not? And both examine the consequences of challenging those who police what is and what is not considered acceptable. Find yourself on the wrong side of cancel culture and you lose your career. Take on the jihadists and you lose your head. Andrew Hankinson, a journalist and writer from Newcastle, is the author of the